WTO Dispute Settlement Body

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The EU/US v. Russia Trade Wars: Revisiting GATT Article XXI and the International Law on Unilateral Economic Sanctions

The EU, US, and Russia are far from reaching any détente in the economic warfare waged between some of the world’s economic powerhouses. On 11 September 2014, the US and EU announced a deepening of their current joint economic sanctions over Russian actions in the Ukraine, this time imposing sanctions targeting Russian banks and oil companies. The new EU September 12 sanctions exclude Russian banks from raising long-term loans in the EU, ban any exports of dual-use equipment for military use in Russia, ban future EU-Russia arms deals, and prohibit EU export of oil industry technology to Russia. The United States has also announced that it would likewise deepen and broaden sanctions against Russia’s financial, energy, and defense industries. In response, Russia announced a “full embargo” on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and Norway, which it subsequently expanded in September to include used cars, clothes, and consumer products, in retaliation for the latest round of EU and US sanctions. On 12 September…

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Keep Calm and Call (no, not Batman but …) Articles 31-32 VCLT: A Comment on Istrefi’s Recent Post on R.M.T. v. The UK

Panos Merkouris, LL.M (Athens) 2004; LL.M (UCL, London) 2005; Dr. iur. (Queen Mary, London) 2010 is Lecturer in Public International Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen. In a recent post on ‘R.M.T. v. The UK: Expanding Article 11 of the ECHR Through Systemic Integration’ Kushtrim Istrefi…

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Mackerel War Called Off?

In November 2013 we wrote about a remarkable WTO dispute initiated by Denmark against the EU (The ‘Mackerel War’ Goes to the WTO). The case is remarkable because it has pitted one EU Member state against the other 27. Denmark, a member of the EU, brought the case “in respect of the Faroe Islands” which are part…

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Evidence in Environmental/Scientific Exceptions: Some Contrasts between the WTO Panel Report in China-Rare Earths and the ICJ Judgment in Whaling in the Antarctic

Two significant international decisions involving environmental protection claims were issued within the last few days of March 2014.  On 26 March 2014, a World Trade Organization (WTO) Panel issued its Report in China-Measures Related to the Exportation of Rare Earths, Tungsten, and Molybdenum (hereafter, China-Rare Earths), which held, among others, that "China may not seek to justify the export…

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The Right to Regulate for Public Morals Upheld (Somewhat): The WTO Panel Report in EC-Seal Products

There have been few interpretations of Article XX(a) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) - the  specific exception that justifies what would ordinarily be a State's GATT-inconsistent measure, unless such measure is deemed "necessary to protect public morals".  As with any of the ten enumerated exceptions under Article XX of GATT 1994, a State invoking GATT…

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